Open Discussion: Week of November 12th

The hot stove season continues.  The GMs meeting begins tomorrow in Orlando, FL.

I’ve been watching a lot of MLB Hot Stove this week.  They scroll each team’s KEY FA across the bottom of the screen during the show along with some other baseball information. The Phillies KEY FA are RHP Clay Buchholz, 3B Andres Blanco, LF Daniel Nava, and OF Hyun Soo Kim.  Every time I see this I can’t help but smile.  I think it’s the use of the word KEY.

Organizational News and Changes

The Phillies announced that Dusty Wathan, Rick Kranitz and John Mallee would be part of manager Gabe Kapler’s staff.  Wathan will be the third base coach, Mallee will be the hitting coach, and current bullpen coach Kranitz’ role has not been announced.

The Gold Gloves were announced.  Freddy Galvis got screwed.

Here are this year’s free agents who were extended a qualifying offer from their teams:

New qualifying offer rules are in place.

  1. A player who has been issued a qualifying offer can never be offered another one.
  2. A player who receives a QO will have ten days to decide (up from seven days). 
  3. Compensation for a team that loses a free agent who had been offered a QO –
    1. A former team that was not a revenue sharing recipient or whose free agent signed for less than $50M guaranteed will receive a compensatory pick after Competitive Balance Round B, which takes place just prior to the draft’s third round.
    2. A former team that was a revenue sharing recipient and whose free agent signed a deal for at least $50MM guaranteed will receive a compensatory pick after the first round.  According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (hat tip to’s Anthony Castrovince), 16 teams are revenue-sharing recipients and could qualify for the higher pick — the Astros, Athletics, Braves, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Indians, Mariners, Marlins, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Royals and Twins.  (It’s worth noting that the new CBA specifies that Oakland will be gradually phased out as a revenue-sharing recipient over the next two seasons.)
    3. A former team that paid the luxury tax will receive a compensatory pick after the fourth round.
  4. Penalties for a team that signs a FA who declined a QO – 
    1. If a team received revenue sharing and didn’t exceed the luxury tax threshold, it has to surrender its third-highest pick in the next draft.  Signing a second QO FA will cost the team its fourth-highest pick, and a third will cost the fifth-highest pick.
    2. If a team contributes to revenue sharing and didn’t exceed the luxury tax threshold, it will have to surrender its second-highest draft pick and $500K of international bonus pool money in the next int’l signing period (which starts on July 2).  Signing a second QO FA will cost the team its third-highest pick, and so on.  No additional international pool money would be involved.
    3. If a team paid luxury tax, it has to surrender its second-highest and fifth-highest draft picks and $1M of international bonus pool money in the next int’l signing period (which starts on July 2).  Signing a second QO FA will cost the third and sixth round picks, and so on.

If the Phillies were to sign one of the free agents who was offered a QO, they would fall under 4.2 above and would have to surrender their 2nd highest draft pick AND $500K of their international pool money.

So, to put it in perspective, if there’s a guy on the list above you would like to sign, would you be willing to miss out on the opportunity to sign a Spencer Howard (2017), or a Kevin Gowdy (2016), or a Scott Kingery (2015) AND give back a half million dollars of international money in order to acquire that guy?

The Phillies have 16 minor league players eligible for free agency –

  • RHP: Michael Mariot (AAA), Colton Murray (AA), Miguel Nunez (AA), Jesen Therrien (AAA), LHP: Cesar Ramos (AAA), RHP/LHP: Pat Venditte (AAA)
  • C: Wilson Garcia (Hi A), Chace Numata (AA), Nick Rickles (AAA)
  • 1B: Jake Fox (AA), Brock Stassi (AAA)
  • 2B: Angelo Mora (AAA)
  • 3B: Harold Martinez (AA)
  • SS: Hector Gomez (AAA)
  • OF: Christian Marrero (AAA), Herlis Rodriguez (AAA)

Chace Numata signed a minor league deal with the Yankees.

Winter Ball

Winter ball stats are available here, but include only the Arizona Fall League, and the Dominican, Mexican, and Venezuelan winter leagues.  The Puerto Rican Winter League has been cancelled.  Foreign players reported to the Colombian Winter League on October 27th and they begin League play on November 3rd.

  • Toros – Felix Paulino, Casey Brown, Jorge Alfaro, Grenny Cumana, Arquimedes Gamboa, Luke Williams
  • Calamnes – Chace Numata (signed with the NYY), Kyle Martin, Derek Campbell

The Nicaraguan Winter League began on Tuesday, October 24th.  I see no Phillies’ farm hands on their published rosters.  The web site for the Panamian Winter League is a cluster____.

In the AFL, the Glendale Desert Dogs are 3 GB with 4 to play.  Edgar Cabral is hitting .333.  Cornelius Randoph is hitting .203 and Zach Green is hitting .184.  J.D. Hammer hasn’t allowed a run in 11 appearances and has 2 saves.  Garrett Cleavinger and Trevor Bettencourt are still carrying big ERAs.  Elniery Garcia has been shut down and Aaron Brown took his place pitching a scoreless inning in his first appearance.

In the DWL, Cameron Perkins is still hitting .258, Angelo Mora is hitting .273.  Eliezer Alvarez is seeing limited action, 17 AB in 7 games.  Zac Curtis is 4-2, 4.76 in 14 appearances. Franklyn Kilome’s ERA rose to 5.54 and Tom Windle’s jumped to 7.20.

Mitch Walding (.228) has 3 HR in the MWL, Brock Stassi (.241) has two.   In the VWL, Daniel Brito is still hitting .273 and I heard he is back stateside at the Complex.

Spring Training

The Phillies’ spring training was released this week.  Here is the list.  Dates in bold are new to the list.  Note that there are still 3 open dates.  So there is still some chance for additional games.

  • Thursday, February 22 v. University of Tampa at Spectrum Field
  • Friday, February 23rd at Toronto in Dunedin
  • Saturday, February 24th v. Baltimore at Spectrum Field
  • Sunday, February 25th v. New York at Spectrum Field
  • Monday, February 26th at New York in Tampa (night)
  • Tuesday, February 27th v.Detroit at Spectrum Field
  • Wednesday, February 28th at Toronto in Dunedin
  • Thursday, March 1st v. New York at Spectrum Field
  • Friday, March 2nd at Tampa in Port Charlotte
  • Saturday, March 3rd v. Baltimore at Spectrum Field (split squad)
  • Saturday, March 3rd at Pittsburgh in Bradenton (split squad)
  • Sunday, March 4th v. Toronto at Spectrum Field
  • Monday, March 5th v. Minnesota at Spectrum Field
  • Tuesday, March 6th TBA or Bye
  • Wednesday, March 7th at New York in Tampa
  • Thursday, March 8th at New York in Tampa
  • Friday, March 9th v. Pittsburgh at Spectrum Field
  • Saturday, March 10th v. Tampa at Spectrum Field
  • Sunday, March 11th at Baltimore in Sarasota(night)
  • Monday, March 12th at Atlanta in Orlando (night)
  • Tuesday, March 13th v. Tampa at Spectrum Field
  • Wednesday, March 14th at Atlanta in Orlando
  • Thursday, March 15th TBA or Bye
  • Friday March 16th at Detroit in Lakeland (split squad)
  • Friday March 16th v. Toronto at Spectrum Field (split squad)
  • Saturday, March 17th v. Atlanta at Spectrum Field
  • Sunday, March 18th at Minnesota in Fort Myers
  • Monday, March 19th TBA or Bye
  • Tuesday, March 20th v. Toronto at Spectrum Field
  • Wednesday, March 21st at Toronto in Dunedin
  • Thursday, March 22nd v. Detroit at Spectrum Field
  • Friday, March 23rd at Pittsburgh in Bradenton
  • Saturday, March 24th at Detroit in Lakeland
  • Sunday, March 25th v.Baltimore at Spectrum Field
  • Monday, March 26th at Pittsburgh in Bradenton
  • Tuesday, March 27th v. Pittsburgh at Spectrum Field

The Otani Sweepstakes

I am neither for or against the Phillies aggressively going after Otani.  But I saw some of his numbers in a story on MLB’s Hot Stove earlier this week, and realized I didn’t know much about him.  So I decided to do some research. Here’s what I’ve heard and/or found out –

  • Otani is on record as saying that he wants to play where he can pitch and hit.  He has softened his stance in a statement this week, and knows that may not be possible.
  • He selected CAA to represent his baseball interests as well as advising him about marketing and other earning opportunities.
  • CAA is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA
  • Otani appeared in just 65 games this past season.
  • Otani rolled his right ankle while running the bases in the 2016 Japan Series.
  • Otani aggravated the injury while in the 2016 November internationals.
  • At that time, a bone spur was detected and Otani declined surgery in order to be ready to play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
  • Due to the injury, Otani was unable to pitch over the offseason.
  • With his fitness in doubt in February, Otani was dropped from the WBC roster.
  • Otani began the 2017 playing regularly with the following restrictions – he was prohibited from running flat out or landing on a base with his right ankle.
  • Otani injured a muscle in his left thigh while trying to beat out an infield hit on April 8th and missed 3 months.
  • Otani had successful surgery on his ankle in October 2017.
  • Otani should be ready to pitch and hit without restrictions in 3 months.
  • Otani’s 2017 stats are greatly affected by his injuries, but during his career he has played in 403 games.
  • Otani has pitched in 85 games, 82 starts during his career.
  • Otani has played the outfield (LF, RF) in 62 games.
  • Otani has entered games as a pinch hitter or DH in 256 games.
  • Otani has not played the field regularly since 2013 (54 of 77 games ).
  • Otani played 8 of 87 games in the outfield in 2014.
  • Otani hasn’t played the outfield in 2015, 2016, or 2017.
  • Otani has played over 90 games only once in his career, 104 in 2016 when he also hit 22 HR and had 67 RBI.
  • Otani hit well over .300 the last two seasons and has a career .286/.358/.500/.859
  • Otani’s career numbers were slightly affected by the 3.20 ERA and 6.8 BB/9 during his injury plagued 2017 season, but are a respectable 2.52 ERA, 13 CG, 7 SHO, 1.076 WHIP, 6.4 H/9, 0.4 HR/9, 3.3 BB/9, and 10.3 K/9.

It’s good for the Phillies that Otani may be relaxing his requirement to pitch and hit.

His marketing opportunities could be west coast centric with CAA’s HQ in LA. Since he’s going to have to sign for less than his supposed value, this may work against the Phillies, although CAA does have offices in New York, Nashville, and Chicago as well as a few other cities.

I think the moves suggested to entice Otani are clever, but I don’t know if they would be enough.  However, I read a quote recently that he wanted to be “the guy” on his team and wouldn’t rule out a rebuilding team.  A team like the Phillies at the end of their rebuild might have an advantage over a team entering a rebuild.

I compared Otani to Ichiro.  In their age 21 seasons, Ichiro had a similar (but better) season and has a career .353/.421/.522/.943 with 118 HR, 629 RBI, 199 SB 33 CS, 384 BB, 333 K in 951 G, 4098 PA, 3619 AB.  I never realized that Ichiro had power when he was younger. Ichiro’s numbers are a little better over a longer career and he was a better base stealer.

Key Dates:

  • November 13-16 – GM meetings in Orlando.
  • November 13, 2017 – Rookies of the Year announced (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
  • November 14, 2017 – Managers of the Year announced (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
  • November 15, 2017 – Cy Young Awards announced (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
  • November 16, 2017, 5:00 PM – Deadline for players to accept/reject qualifying offers.  Those who decline will become free agents.
  • November 16, 2017 – Most Valuable Players announced (MLB Network, 6 p.m. ET)
  • November 17, 2017 – Esurance MLB Awards (MLB Network)
  • November 20th – Deadline for roster expansion to 40 players prior to the Rule 5 draft.
  • December 1, 8:00 PM EST – Deadline for teams to tender contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters, including arbitration-eligible players.  Non-tendered players become free agents.  Tendered players who are arbitration eligible who do not accept the tender proceed to the arbitration process in February.
  • December 10-14 – Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida.
  • December 14, 9:00 AM EST – Rule 5 draft.
  • January 9, 2018 – Salary arbitration filing deadline
  • January 12, 2018 – Salary arbitration figures exchanged
  • January 29 – February 16, 2018 – Salary arbitration hearings, Phoenix, Arizona
  • February 13, 2018 – earliest date for pitchers/catchers to report to Spring Training
  • February 18, 2018 – earliest date for all other players to report for full squad workouts
  • February 22, 2018 – Tentative date for the start of Grapefruit League games
  • March 29, 2018 – Opening Day for the 2018 season
  • March 29, 2018 – Phillies opening game in Atlanta
  • April 5, 2018 – Phillies home opener v. Miami
  • April 15, 2018 – Jackie Robinson Day
  • April 17-18, 2018 – Twins v. Indians at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, PR
  • May 13, 2018 – Mother’s Day events, all host ballparks
  • June 4-6, 2018 – 2018 MLB Draft
  • June 17, 2018 – Father’s Day events, all host ballparks
  • July 13-17, 2018 – All-Star Week
  • July 17, 2018 – 89th All Star Game, at Nationals Park
  • August 19, 2018 – Phillies v. Mets in the Little League Classic in Williamsport.
  • December 10-13, 2018 – Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada

Last Week’s Transactions: (the 40-man roster stands at 38 players)

  • 11/6 – RHP Jesen Therrien elected free agency
  • 11/6 – CF Pedro Florimon elected free agency
  • 11/6 – Phillies activated RHP Vince Velasquez from the 60-day disabled list
  • 11/6 – Phillies activated RHP Jerad Eickhoff from the 60-day disabled list
  • 11/6 – Phillies activated RHP Zach Eflin from the 60-day disabled list
  • 11/6 – Phillies sent RHP Jesen Therrien outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 11/6 – Phillies sent CF Pedro Florimon outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 11/2 – RF Hyun Soo Kim elected free agency
  • 11/2 – LF Daniel Nava elected free agency
  • 11/2 – 3B Andres Blanco elected free agency
  • 11/2 – RHP Clay Buchholz elected free agency
  • 11/2 – Phillies activated RHP Jesen Therrien from the 60-day disabled list
  • 11/2 – Phillies activated CF Pedro Florimon from the 60-day disabled list
  • 10/30-11/6 – Logan Moore re-signed with the Phillies
  • 9/30-10/13 – Ranfi Casimiro re-signed with the Phillies
  • 10/13 – Pedro Beato elected free agency
  • 10/5 – Kevin Segrist elected free agency
  • 10/5 – Ty Kelly elected free agency
  • 9/16-29 – Mitch Walding re-signed with the Phillies
  • The organization’s rosters are up to date.
  • The organization’s injury list retains the injuries at the end of the 2017 season.  All are expected to be okay by the start of spring training except Jesen Therrien.  He is expected to miss the entire 2018 season.
  • The organization’s Rule 5 eligibility list is as accurate as I can make.

Here’s the open discussion thread for Phillies’ talk and other topics.


294 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 12th

  1. Cesar Hernandez, Dylan Cozens (DH Platoon with Puljous), and Carlos Tucci (Outfield Depth) to the Angels for Kenyan Middleton, Jahmai Jones, Cole Duensing, Jose Soriano, and Wilkel Hernandez.

  2. Only QO guy I’d want would be Carlos Santana. Pretty much penciled in for 20 homers, 30 doubles, and 90 walks. I’d deal with Hoskins in left and would be willing to sell high on either Altherr or Nick Williams.

  3. Next yrs 2nd baseman FA Corp is outstanding remember that when you think teams are going to offer much for Cehe . The Angels have a ready 3 A SS Prospect they can use at 2 nd . I mean For 1 yr I don’t think teams will go Ape_ for CeHe when they can sign a better 2nd baseman next yr.

    1. That’s why he should be moved in a package NOW for what you can get (pref SP) than next year when he’ll be marginalized completely.

      1. I’ve been proposing the Cesar trade since last year but got hammered. Klentak is losing leverage as the days passed and Cesar’s value might become Jahlil Okafor-esque

        Sticking to a young core is starting to bear fruits. Too bad for Cesar that a better player in Kingery fits better with the current timeline.

        1. “Cesar’s value might become Jahlil Okafor-esque”

          LOL. Shut up. This is one of the dumbest comparisons I’ve ever seen. Cesar is a 3-4 win player. Okafor is a negative asset. Please think before you post.

    2. Yes. Next year’s FA class is loaded with 2Bmen. However, the Angels have only three years of Mike Trout left before he can leave. They’re not going to waste one of those three years waiting for 2019. I’m assuming the AAA SS you are referring to is David Fletcher. Fletcher is not an option for the Angels. He’s just not good enough.
      Read this story from the LA Times A few important points the writer makes:
      1. The Phillies and Angels discussed a CeHe deal last offseason.
      2. The Angels have extensively examined Cesar Hernandez this season.
      3. The Angels may target CC Sabathia or Jamie Garcia in FA.
      Hernandez is a perfect leadoff hitter for LA. He would get on base at a high rate in front of Mike Trout. He has very good speed, and the fact that he is not a great base stealer won’t be a huge red flag for the Angels because they probably wouldn’t want him running much in front of Trout, anyway.
      The fact that the Halos may be targeting LHP’s in FA may mean they’d be willing to deal Tyler Skaggs. Hopefully, Klentak can trade Cesar and an upper level pitching prospect (Thompson or Taveras or Irvin) for Skaggs and a lower level prospect (Jose Soriano).

      1. Skaggs sinks. just release cesar if that is what you think he is worth. a 26 yr old who doesn’t stike guys out. gives up more hits than inning pitched, I just am so tried of hearing the bad trades with CH name plus we are giving up a prospect. nuts totally nuts

        1. Roccom, although I believe, at some point, the Phillies are probably going to have to move Cesar (just because he and Kingery play the same position and I think Kingery will end up being a star, which is no insult to Cesar, who is very good), if I’m the Phillies, there is no way I just move him without getting fair value in return and the idea of moving him for a back-end starter is insane – he’s worth much more than that AND they already have too many back-end starters. Since the system is fairly loaded, if they moving him it should be about acquiring players with high ceilings. I don’t care if the players are very young – if you’re going to trade Cesar at this point, you better be getting a potential star in return. Trading him for a merely “useful” player would be a huge mistake.

        2. rocco….c’mom man!
          Tyler Boz Skaggs stinks! 😦
          He is the LHP the Phillies could use now in the rotation.
          You know who strikes out the same rate of batters like Skaggs….Dallas Cowboy Keuchel.

          1. I don’t see Skagg’s k-rate as a problem. 8Ks/9 IP is fine and better than most of our SPs. He does give up a ton of HRs, which is a problem. With twice as many GOs and FOs, he is not doing at all well with the fly balls he does give up.

      2. 1 Angels could call up any team with a 2nd baseman that is going into FA next yr. The Angels scouted more then CeHe . I heard they were in Minnesota. Why would the Phillies trade for Any of the LHP the Angels have if the Angels are looking for LHP.

  4. Skaggs is the same as Thompson and the rest of the fitfth starter types we have. I am amazed you would even consider this trade. But our GM is a moron so it could happen

    1. Rocco … look at recent history. This is what you can realistically expect. Last winter the Rays traded Logan Forsythe (2 yrs of team control) for a top 50 prospect (Jose De Leon).
      Better yet … two years ago, the Angels got 5 years (at just 43 million dollars) of Andrelton Simmons (26 YO AS SS) for Sean Newcomb (there were other pieces, but the trade boiled down to those two players). Newcomb was a top 25 prospect. If the Phillies get Skaggs (who does come with some warts), consider it at least a fair trade.
      If you’re a Scott Kingery believer (and I know you’re not), you’ve got to trade CeHe now. As mentioned dozens of times, next year’s FA class is loaded with 2Bmen.

    2. rocco…..the GM is an analytical genius.
      When it comes to exit velocities, launch angles, horizontal and vertical declines…there is no one who knows more.
      And combine that with a manager who knows how to keep a body nutritionally well oiled and performing at top performance in the field…well then we are set.

  5. Despite the Jon Morosi tweets this weekend connecting the Phillies to Giancarlo Stanton …

    I stand by my previous post, the Phillies WILL NOT trade for Giancarlo Stanton. However, I do believe the Phillies could be used as a third team to get Stanton to a club (Giants) w/o the prospects and payroll flexibility to make a direct deal with Miami. In this scenario, the Phillies would include cash and prospects to acquire Christian Yelich. I don’t know the exact details of this, but it could look something like this:
    * Marlins send Stanton (and his full salary) to the Phillies.
    * Phillies then ship off Stanton (and 80% of his money for the next 3 yrs) to the Giants.
    * Giants get Stanton at 20 million per yr thru 2020 (SF would be responsible for the final 8 yrs of that contract if Stanton doesn’t opt out).
    * Marlins get Heliot Ramos, Tyler Beede, Nick Williams, and Ben Lively. Just as importantly, they would shed the contracts of Stanton and Martin Prado (323.5 million dollars in total).
    * Phillies would get Yelich and Martin Prado.

    From a Phillies perspective, Klentak would eat about 15 million dollars (over 3 years) of Stanton’s money, and take on Prado’s contract (2 yrs @ 28.5 million) to flip Nick Williams and Ben Lively for Christian Yelich (5 yrs of team control @ 58 million dollars).

    1. I need to think about this one, although it’s certainly creative.

      I would want another team as part of this trade to take on Prado and we could pay 75% of that contract. I definitely don’t like the idea of him jamming up the outfield or infield for the next two years and I do think he has some value ($5-8 million a year). I suppose they could keep him for a while and use him as a swiss army knife kind of player, but they have a lot of guys who need playing time and Prado is not one of them.

      1. For a while I was wondering about the fascination with Yelich and I do understand it at some level. The biggest thing is his contract which will give 5 years of team control at very reasonable prices. The thinking, I suppose, is that, even if he doesn’t improve he’s a valuable 4 WAR player receiving an under-market salary – a guy who could do well on a championship-level team and if he does improve, he’s a huge bargain. I like him, but, boy at CBP, I sure want my corner outfielders to hit for more power than he’s shown. I guess he could develop more power, but, so far, he’s not shown me a power hitter’s swing. I’m not knocking him, I’m just saying that I don’t expect a 30 homer season from him soon or at any point really.

        1. Assuming Klentak will acquire Yelich – Yelich will become the best OF (ability wise) within the Phillies organization both major and minor league teams. The costs is just secondary especially for a team like the Phillies who has deep pockets and no significant contractual obligation.

      2. Prado had knee surgery a few months ago…so in his age34 season coming up, it is unlikely he will be more than a year player anyway.

      3. I think, going forward, we can expect the unexpected for a few years from the Phillies.

        For example, let’s say the Phillies make a trade for Yellich, if they can get younger player with a huge upside, I could see them trading Odubel and playing Kingery in CF (he’s supposed to be a good outfielder). I’m not advocating that trade per se, I’m just saying there’s a lot ways this could go, but they need to avoid Brian Colagenlo-type situations where they can’t figure out how to use a player, rob him of his trade value and still don’t move him.

        1. “I think, going forward, we can expect the unexpected for a few years from the Phillies.”…if it were up to Middleton yes, since he wanted to start it this off-season………but when it comes to MacPhail or Klentak I have my reservations this year…they seem to have already persuaded Middleton to hold off until after 2018 season from the past reports in October.
          But Klentak would be wise to start to move future surplus assets as soon as possible….which always involves risk.

          1. Romus … I agree MacKlentak will wait until next winter to sign a FA(s) to a long term deal(s). This off-season, they’ll most likely sign a FA pitcher to a one year deal. However, I strongly believe they will be very active traders over the next few weeks. The Angels, Marlins, and Orioles are all possible trade partners.

          2. I don’t agree. I think they just indicated that they won’t be signing be free agents until after 2018 (which makes sense), but they could be making big trades starting almost immediately and I don’t see anything they said that is inconsistent with that strategy.

      4. Catch, a healthy Prado would be a useful veteran utility man/pinch hitter, more productive than Whitey Blanco (IMO), and might even give Franco a push for playing time at 3b. I wouldn’t look to get rid of him right away because he’s not a long term piece anyway. He’ll be gone within 2 years max.

        In any case, his involvement in a deal shouldn’t be a deal maker or deal breaker.

    2. Hinkie….I’d prefer to also get the Marlins CBA pick in all that maneuvering….though it may be Round B this year…not sure.

      1. Don’t worry, Romus. Got that covered, too. In April, the Phillies send a non prospect (Tyler Viza sounds about right) for Edinson Volquez, a lottery ticket, and the Marlins comp B pick. We can turn that comp pick into somebody like HS OF Elijah Cabell, or Coastal Carolina RHP (and former Delaware HS phenom) Jason Bilous.

        1. Hinkie…the comp B pick is in the 70s… better hope the players you targeted are still there.

    3. If I was willing as GM to trade prospects/players for Stanton – I would heavily investigate a trade for Mike Trout a lot more first to see if it was even possible. (Angels may not be). I do like the above proposal or thinking outside the box ideas, not sure if Marlins would do that. Cards and Red Sox may actually pay full price for him

      1. @Bob D. – some thoughts related to your comment above:

        MIA is a motivated seller and has business reasons to shed payroll. They will deal with any team that will make them achieve reducing payroll by $50M

        Any team is exploring to acquire the best player currently in LAA. But Moreno intends to compete while Trout is his peak. This might reasonable change in 2 years time.

        Yes, STL and BOS can pay the price. But so is PHI and LAD and others.

      2. I highly doubt the Red Sox or Cards would pay the whole load for Stanton, money AND talent wise together. The team lying in the weeds in my opinion is the Dodgers. If they really want Stanton, he’s theirs. Otherwise, the Phillies stand as the x-factor for the Marlins, as either a pivot team in a 3way deal or Stanton’s ultimate destination.

        1. 8mark…I agree with you…LAD could be the sleeper in this and walk away with him very easily.
          They have the valued prospects…plus Puig to dangle and to go down there among the largest Cuban population in the US.
          Though I think Jeter will not be doing Don Mattingly any favors if Puig ends up as a Marlin.

    4. @Hinkie – i also believe that Stanton to PHI trade will be a 3-team trade although as I posted before I think it will include LAD since they have about $50-60M 1-year contracts to burn. LAD sends Pederson to MIA as the main piece and PHI will absorb some contracts and control controlled pieces (i.e. Lively, Thompson, etc) in exchange of comp picks and some prospects.

      Your 3-team trade above might be more doable than your 1st MIA-PHI proposal.

    5. In your scenario, the Phillies get two starting outfielders. Who sits, Altherr or Herrera? The Phillies need pitching, period!

      1. in Hinkie’s scenario, the Phils send Nick Williams to MIA – so the new OF will be Yelich at LF, Doobie at CF and Altherr at RF. Prado will be a bench player or traded for scrubs.

    6. I agree on us not trading for Stanton. However, I’m not wild about your Yelich deal. I won’t say that the Phillies couldn’t use Stanton, but he is not what they need. They need pitching. Until they get pitching, adding Stanton’s HRs isn’t going to matter all that much. They need a 3B a lot more than the need a slugging OF.

    7. Hinkie,
      Agree that Phillies are not likely to trade for Stanton. I’ve believed the CARDINALS will be the team to get him.
      I could see Phillies involved as 3rd team to take on salary. Cards need better leftside IF defense so maybe Galvis involved. For taking on some money and Galvis we could get something valuable.

    8. I would not drop the farm on yelich!!! He is a nice player, but not impact. I think altherr is comparable. He may strike out a bit more but provides more power given a healthy 600 base season. Ozuna maybe so if he would sign an ext but not yelich, I don’t see the fascination

      1. @Legacy – i don’t see any trade proposal to gut the farm for Yelich. Yelich is the price if MIA wants the Phils to absorb some $$ contract. The fascination with Yelich is that he is a good player and will be the best OF in the entire Phillies organization and there’s a good chance that the Phils acquire such talent without surrendering they top prospects.

  6. My problem with the Cards getting him is the amount of $ that Jeter wants to dump. The Cards can’t take it all on, and will want the Marlins to eat a big chunk if the Marlins want good prospects. I think a more likely scenario, and one I would pursue, is to take on a couple of the bad contracts, and get a Story and International $ for their trouble.

      1. That was certainly dumb of me! I changed his name from Trevor Rogers to Trevor Story. I hope it is my last screw up, but I know it won’t be!

          1. Forget about trading our J2 money. Klentak should be looking to acquire more. Even if you don’t think the Phillies stand a snowball’s chance in hell with Otani, there’s a pretty good chance MLB cuts Kevin Maitan and Abraham Gutierrez loose from the Braves as punishment for their international shananigans. Klentak will need extra J2 dollars to land either of them.

            1. Hinkie…I agree there….Maitan and Gutierrez would be excellent coup signings….even Salinas or Cabello. Maitan would go right away into our top 10

            2. Yes. Maitan is already big for a SS as a 17 YO. He’ll most likely end up a 3Bman. The Phillies will almost certainly need to include an opt out after 5 years in a MM contract. Having Maitan (or drafting Nander DeSedas, Nolan Gorman, or Jeremy Eierman) next summer would be a nice insurance policy against Machado taking advantage of his opt out. I know this is putting the horse in front of the carriage, but the Phillies should be thinking two steps ahead.

          2. That looks to me like sheer speculation by the writer, Romus.

            Besides – and I can’t emphasize this more – why would a few hundred thousand or even a couple million dollars be the difference to a young man about to make way, way more money through endorsements, marketing tie-ins, and an eventual lucrative extension with the club he, his family, and his camp deem more attractive in the bigger picture?

  7. I believe the Cardinals are the most motivated team with the best resources to trade for Stanton. The only problem with that … I’m not too sure Stanton will waive his “no trade” clause to go to St. Louis. If the Dodgers aren’t interested in dealing for Stanton, the Marlins might have to turn to the Phillies to help get the slugger to the Giants.

    1. Stanton wants to play on either coast, so I’ve read. I see a 3 team deal developing with Phillies as the pivot team, but when all is said and done, they may wind up being the Marlins’ last resort and final destination for Stanton. The Phillies really don’t need to make this deal happen as much as Jeter & Co. need to shed big time payroll. Klentak should go ahead and call them and ask “Who’$ your daddy?”

    2. I don’t see how the Giants have the money or the young controllable talent to swing that deal, with or without the Phillies help.

  8. Otani Survey: polled 40 general managers, assistant GMs, baseball operations people and scouts about nine hot stove questions that will be making news across the game.
    The survey was conducted primarily by email, and respondents were assured anonymity to best allow them to speak candidly.
    In cases where a half-point is given, the respondent split his vote between two clubs.

    Which team will Shohei Otani be playing for on Opening Day 2018?
    Responses: Yankees 7½; Dodgers 7½; Rangers 5; Nippon Ham Fighters 4; Mariners 4; Padres 1; Cubs 1; Astros 1; Giants 1; Red Sox 1. The remaining respondents had no prediction.

    1. And Arrieta:
      Where will Jake Arrieta sign as a free agent?
      Responses: Rangers 10; Cubs 5½; Phillies 4½; Dodgers 3½; Angels 3; Mariners 3; Yankees 2; Braves 1; Blue Jays 1; Nationals ½, don’t know 6
      Bryce Harper won’t be traded this winter as the Nationals take another run at a World Series. But Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado and Andrew McCutchen also will be free agents a year from now. Which of those three players is most likely to get traded this offseason?
      Responses: McCutchen 26; Donaldson 11; Machado 0. Three respondents had no opinion

  9. No one around the league believes that Peter Angelos will sign off on a trade of Machado. He is going for it, and, in his mind, the next generation can worry about any mistakes he makes. I think they have Arrieta to the Phils’ odds so high because they think we are going to spend $ on some SP, although as others have stated, it is more unlikely with Arrieta because of the Compensation factor. I could see a Poll listing the Phils’ chances to get Darvish as pretty high based soley on ability to overpay.

  10. Florimon was resigned to a minor league deal as expected, he expects to win a bench job if Cesar and/or Galvis are moved.

    1. I do like Florimon. I’m glad to see him re-sign. Hope he heals well, and is able to help the team off the bench.

  11. Ryan Lawrence isn’t certain what Rick Kranitz’s job will exactly be. He lists six additional candidates for Gabe Kapler’s new pitching coach.
    Among the names listed is the guy I predicted after the season ended, Jim Benedict. The other interesting name Lawrence brings up is internal candidate, Brian Sweeney. At just 43 YO, Sweeney would fit the profile. He’s young (Kapler is 42, Wathan is 44). Sweeney gets credit for his work with most of the Phillies top pitching prospects (Sanchez, Kilome, Medina, Romero, Saurez, Falter, and Fanti) in Lakewood the past couple of seasons.

  12. Interesting MK said the Phillies are looking good at postion players. He’d rather let the young kids play. He also said this was the first yr since he’s been here that the Phillies are look for multi yr contracts. he meant for the FA contract’s.

  13. Matt Gelb’s piece today lays out the FOs template for the off season, quoting Klentak’s assertion that the Phillies’ “position-player group” is fine unless “a unique set of circumstances” presents itself. He did say that they “will make additions” either thru free agency or trades, and that for the first time under this regime they will acquire players for more than one year contracts. “Is that 2 years? Or ten? Or somewhere in between?….depends on the player.” Well that is good to hear. (From that statement I think Darvish could be a target.) Gelb’s take is that Stanton doesn’t appear to be in the cards (no pun intended). And that the Phillies will be used by other teams and agents to drive their agendas, simply because of their financial flexibility and depth of young controllable talent.

    I still wouldn’t be surprised if the Phillies are involved in the Stanton development, though more likely in a 3-team deal.

    1. Not Darvish, I think Chatwood and Chacin are the targets with 2 or 3 year deals being offered. Also, maybe a reliever is being offered a 2 year deal if he’s not too old. Trades of Cesar and Galvis will get us a SP plus a bench guy

      1. Both, Chatwood and Chacin will not cost an arm and leg, though Phillies have plenty excess limbs available
        However, they are not considered, at best, anything more than middle of the rotation arms.
        My understanding, Twins could be a surprise landing spot for Darvish, who may get a $25M AAV for 5 or 6 years.

      2. I’m going to go on record as hoping Klentak outbids the Yankees on a one year deal for CC Sabathia. Yankees want to get under the luxury tax threshold. I’m all for signing a FA pitcher to a one year deal, and trading (probably CeHe) for another. Sabathia (IMO) is the best one year option. He had a pretty good 2017, he’s LH, and would probably be a good flip candidate if the Phillies aren’t in contention in August. Before anyone asks why do you think Sabathia would settle for a one year deal, it’s because I’ve read it in multiple places (including from Keith Law and Jon Heyman).

        1. Hope you are right, he would be perfect for the Phillies, although he may prefer a team that would be more likely to make the playoffs since he is 37 and used to being in contention

          1. I was doubting that, but then I went back and looked at his stats and I can see what you’re saying. The problem is that they seem to have no shot at a playoff spot and I don’t think he’s looking to sign just to be flipped to another team. But if this were 2019, he might be a good fit on a one year deal (or one year and a team option year).

        2. Hinkie…unless MattyK speaks in double talk.. yesterday he is quoted as:
          “This offseason is the first time since I’ve been here that we will explore contracts of more than one year with free agents. Now, is that two years or is that 10 years? Or is it something in between? That will all depend on the market and the individual player”
          ….i take that to mean no more one-year July flippers. CC Sabathia may fall into that category.

          1. I’d even offer Sabathia 17.4 million (the QO #) for one year, with a vesting option (180 IP) for a second year.

            1. I worry about him on more than a one-year deal. Just too much age and weight and injuries. He’s a bit of a ticking time bomb when it comes to injuries.

      3. I have a feeling the Phils will inquire about Archer and Cole and offer lots of prospects not named JP, Sanchez, or Kingery. Cesar, Kilome and Medina for Archer. Too little? Too much?

        1. Too much. Cesar for Archer alone is a fair deal. TB won’t agree to that, but it’s a fair deal nonetheless. Much more than Cesar and it’s heist for TB.

            1. Hinkie…..add another 2nd basemen out there in the trade market….Brian Sabean is looking to deal Joe Panik to try to get their re-tool going. Panik has many favorable attributes going for him that make him look attractive like Cesar….two being control and cost.
              Sabean has C. Arroyo and K. Tomlinson coming up.
              So Matty K better get in gear if he plans on cashing in on Cesars’ return value

            2. Not great news, but Cesar Hernandez > Joe Panik.
              Sabean may be disappointed in what he finds out Panik actually brings back. Also, Klentak is loaded with prospects to include in a deal; Sabean … not so much.

          1. Cesar for archer is a fair deal?!? Don’t say that in front of anybody else. Holy cow, that might be the most insane comment I’ve ever heard. I’d like to add cursing into this, but I’ll be banned….even though I think everyone in the world would think I’m justified in doing so.

            1. Sorry to offend your feelings, but, in fact, this is true. Archer pitched to a 1.2 bWAR this year and a 1.8 bWAR last year. Cesar played to a 3.1 bWAR (missing about 30 games) this year and 3.3 bWAR last year. So by bWAR, Cesar was notably more valuable. Fangraphs flips that a little bit and gives both players more WAR over the last two years, with it being about tied (7.8 for Archer versus 7.6 for Cesar, but, again, Cesar missed some time so it’s about a draw).

              That said, I think agree with you that Archer is more valuable because he is signed to a longer term deal and because you could potentially project him to the top of a rotation and, no doubt, a possible top of the rotation starter is worth more than a very good second baseman. That said, Cesar is also cost controlled for several more years and the difference in value is not that great where I’d be including Cesar and two top pitcher prospects for Archer – that would be a heist for TB and a stupid trade for the Phillies.

            2. And you can swear at the moon or at me all you like, but it won’t change the fact that, over the last two years, Cesar has been as valuable or perhaps more valuable than Archer. Sorry, it’s true.

            3. People see the Archer name and the stuff (which is legit – there’s huge ability there) and just assume he’s been a world beater, but last year, away from the favorable TB stadium, he kinda stunk – his ERA was almost 5 – so he hasn’t performed as you might assume he did.

            4. Without a doubt, Cesar has outperformed Archer over these last two years along the metric venue, however, Cesar straight up for Archer may not be realistic from a GM non-metric world.
              Pitching is the name of the game and the great treasure resource
              Still have not seen a starting 2nd basemen traded yet for a MLB TOR.
              Forsthye only brought back a pitching prospect in DeLeon a few years ago.
              I think to get it done one of the young Phillies pitchers or pitching prospects would have to be tagged with Cesar.

            5. Romus – I agree completely. I do think Archer is more valuable than Cesar for the reasons I mentioned and even though he has been out-performed by Cesar these last two years (or it’s close) and agree that one highly regarded pitching prospect in high A ball and another useful back-end guy in AAA (but not Eshelman – who could be a valuable workhorse starter for years) would be a fair price. But I’m not giving them Cesar, Medina and Kilome – that’s too much.

            6. Rays’ Silverman, IMO, would probably do a deal like that. That is how they got Archer originally from the Cubs way back when, in the Garza deal with about 6/7 players involved. Funny, Sam Fuld, now on Kaper’s staff was a part of that deal from the Cubs to the Rays.

            7. Well, article over on phillies seem to think a deal for archer would start with Kingery AND Sixto. Again, just to start. If Cesar, medina and Kilome brought archer over, I do it 10 out of 10 times. Kilome has a walk problem that hasn’t gotten better over the last three years. Medina has a straight fastball.

              Look at it this way. How many teams would line up for Archer if he was available? Now how many teams are lining up for Cesar? We couldn’t move him last year for crap.

              And why would the Rays accept a lot of mediocrity for a #1? This isn’t fantasy baseball.

  14. Hoskins finishes fourth in ROY with 12 votes
    Bellinger had 150 in first place….then second DeJong (56) and third Josh Bell(32).:

  15. Jon Heyman ✔@JonHeyman
    Angels, phillies and cardinals are 3 more teams considering 1B options. Also tex, colo, clev, bos, kc, sea.

    …I wonder if he is just throwing this on the wall….or could the Phillies consider Hoskins to LF in the future?

    1. This is simply the agents throwing the Phillies, with their cash available, into every conversation. It’s not real! Agents lie! What a shocker!!

    2. He was close enough to average there that it’s a possibility if you get a true slugging left-handed first baseman. Imagine for a moment this team with someone like Votto at first and Hoskins in left – believe me, you’d live with the below average defense.

      1. Then again, if not the prefer bat of Votto, Adrian Gonzalez could be shopped by the Dodgers with his last year of his contract being in 2018 with a $20M plus price tag.

        1. Gonzelez had a negative 1.2 WAR last year – he was a bad player at any price. I’d skip him for sure.

        2. If they can sign LoMo for a year with a second option year, that would be interesting. I’ve always liked him as a hitter. Lots of plate discipline and lots of power. He could hit 40 homers at the Bank and he’d look very good back-to-back in a lefty-righty combination with Hoskins. And I don’t think he’s going to cost too much. Something to consider.

            1. Santana will give the Indians every opportunity to re-sign him. Otherwise he will stay in the AL where he can DH as well as play 1B. He’s not a 162 game first baseman.

        3. @romus – in my 3-way trade scenario between LAD, MIA and PHI –

          MIA – gets Joc Pederson, Nick Williams, Forsythe and Lively (and dump contracts of Stanton, Gordon and Prado).

          LAD – gets Stanton and Gordon (and dump some of their 1-year contract like AGon, Ryu and McCarthy) and some secondary cost controlled players from PHI (i.e. Thompson, Leiter, Taveras).

          PHI – Yelich and contracts of Prado, AGon, Ryu and McCarthy plus prospects like Trevor Rogers, Mitchell White, Dustin Oaks and reclamation project in Kolek plus MIA’s comp pick.

          The contracts of Forstyhe, AGon, Ryu and McCarthy saves LAD $50.7M (split between PHI $41.M and MIA $9M) and didn’t cost them their top prospects. While MIA saves about $420M of potential contract obligations from Yelich, Stanton, Prado and Gordon.

          1. KuKo…lots of moving parts…..on paper looks good, and I like the White and Oaks returns, Kolek is a risk but you never know….not keen on Rogers, too old for my blood as a 20-year old prospect, who has not yet pitched a pitch in pro ball.
            And as for Matty K…tis type of a deal may be a little too complicated.
            Like I said numerous times before ……Matty is not that creative.

  16. I think 2 years and $15 million might get you Morrison – I think that could be a heck of a deal if they believe Hoskins can hold down the fort in left field.

    1. By the way Morrison’s splits were outstanding last year. Away from TB he played to a 175+ OPS and 1.020 OPS (basically, a superstar level) and while not as impressive, his splits away from TB were also much better in 2016. He’s be a very interesting gamble.

  17. The off season possibilities are endless…

    I still maintain that the Phillies will be involved in some way with the Stanton negotiations – without actually acquiring him – but yielding a serious net in value via young talent (Rogers?), a solid established big league player (Yelich?), and some peripheral benefits (CB pick or int’l money). Otherwise, I’m done with all the conflicting nonsense being thrown out there by reputable media types – where won’t he go? Who wants him but can’t afford him? Who should get him but doesn’t want him?

    Cesar is as good as gone (to LAA, more than likely).

    If Heyman’s suggestion that a lefty hitting 1b could be a target (leaving Rhys in LF) then that would mean another outfielder gets moved.

    I can see them going after a QO FA SP, but only if they manage to acquire a CB pick in another deal (Miami?).

  18. Pitching, pitching, pitching. Reel back all these rumors about 1B, it’s not happening. Agents are floating self serving rumors to get leverage. Phils will sign a starter and try to trade for a starter with Cesar plus prospect(s). Klentak is telling us he wants to stick with the kids and let them play.

    1. 100% agree with you. I don’t see a Yelich trade either like some have wished. I think this will be; a FA starter to be flipped at the trade deadline; a longer term starter obtained via trade; one or two relief pitchers via FA or trade; some AAA FAs. Beyond that is only that target of opportunity, the offer MK can’t refuse. The big splash will be next year.

    1. I previously mentioned the Cardinals were the most motivated team with the best resources to trade for Stanton, but I wasn’t sure Stanton would waive his “no trade” clause to go to St. Louis. If true, this plays right into Klentak’s hands. If Stanton is ok with being dealt to SF, the Phillies may be needed to make it work. Refer to the proposal I posted yesterday (above in this thread). The Phillies would end up with Christian Yelich for their trouble.

        1. That is correct.
          And … don’t forget, we wait until April to flip Tyler Viza for Edinson Volquez, a lottery ticket, and Miami’s comp B draft pick !

    2. I don’t think its very smart on Stanton’s part to say who he won’t waive his NT for. If he really wants out of Miami at this point and really wants to land with one of the Cali teams he and his agent should make it seem as if he is willing to go to a bunch of places. (even if he won’t)

      1. Don’t know that he wants out of Miami as much as Miami wants to get rid of his contract. Why would he not indicate where he’s not willing to go rather than wasting time having the Marlins trying to negotiate deals that have no chance..

  19. Wouldn’t it be great if Klentak fools us and is really a creative and bold thinker and puts together some deals that really move the rebuild needle forward? I am probably dreaming, but will keep hoping.

  20. Dbacks may want to shed payroll. Patrick Corbin might be worth a look.
    Not sure if any trade makes sense and Corbin is in last year of control.
    With his young age and Phillies payroll able to extend him he may cost little more than money. At worst he is only a one year cost. If good he could be given a QO for at least draft pick.

    1. If the Phillies can pry Patrick Corbin from the D-Backs (which I question), that would be a huge coup. If you asked me to make a short list of below the radar guys who could break out and become big time stars, Corbin would be near the top of that list. He’s a lefty, with a very good arm and swing and miss stuff and had a very good second half of the season. I don’t know why Arizona would trade him rather than extend him, but if the price is reasonable, I jump on that and quickly.

  21. According to Matt Gelb’s, it’s unlikely any of the remaining coaches from Mackanin’s staff will be returning to join Kapler’s. Still to be filled: bench coach and pitching coach. Gelb mentions Bryan Sweeney as a PC candidate since he’s recently been working with Sixto and co. in the minors.

    1. Correction: Ryan Lawrence mentioned Brian Sweeney, along with John Farrell, Rafael Chavez, Rick Peterson, Jim Benedict and Dave Righetti.

      1. Kranitz was on Mack’s staff and he is the only one back so far,…possibly as bullpen pitching coach again or the pitching coach.

    1. I think he will sign an extension. Also interesting was the last bit of the article. Apparently there’s a market for first baseman. We won’t get much, but should be able to easily move ToJo. As added value in a package deal, who knows?

    2. I don’t doubt the Nats will make a major effort to keep Harper but as even the article notes, Boras typically takes players to free agency to set the market price.

      I expect Harper to take the same path…

      1. Boras has both Rendon and Harper ….him and Rizzo will be talking some serious money.
        With Rendon it is an arb situation….but he has been a 10WAR player over these last two years, so the Nats better break the bank.

    3. They are going to want something like 13 years and over $500 million and he will get something between $400-500 million. If I’m the Phillies, I want no part of that contract. He’s way too injury prone and inconsistent to pay him over $40 per year.

      Mike Trout, yes, he’s worth it.

      Machado, maybe.

      Harper? No way.

      1. I know I discarded the idea of acquiring Adrian Gonzalez because, frankly, he was horrible last year, but if the Dodgers are willing to part with valuable prospects, taking Gonzalez for a year would be very feasible for the Phillies and it would work out great for the Dodgers, who would save like $30 million between his salary and luxury taxes. If Gonzalez bounces back and hits, great, keep him at first and play Hoskins in left. If not, then they could release him. But they would need to get some serious value in return.

        1. Hinkie suggested RHP Mitchell White come with AdGonzo….which would be plus.
          And Gonzo could go the way of Michael Saunders by July, if he cannot produce anymore.

          1. Yup – it would be interesting to know what John Middleton really thinks of how this current management team is performing. I like Middleton and think he is patient to a large degree, but he wants the decisions to be sound. So, while in theory I think he’s okay swallowing salary, signing short term FAs and throwing out cash, he wants those outlays to be productive and, last year’s biggest cash outlays – Saunders and Buchholz – could not possibly have gone any worse. In fact, Buchholz was so bad that his getting hurt was a relief.

        2. Gonzalez can’t catch up to certain pitches. You don’t want him. And the dodgers don’t care about money or luxury tax. Why would u think they’d send over prospects? This post doesn’t make sense.

  22. I like the idea of Cesar and ToJo to the Angels. That seems like a reasonable landing spot, and they seem to match up. Klentak has the familiarity with the Angels, they have a need, and Cesar helps them quite a bit. They expect to contend and know that they need to put some more talent around Trout. I am not sure what we would get back, but there are pieces that could make it a fair deal. I never thought Cesar would get a #1 or a # 2 SP, but there is still value that can be gotten. ToJo can swing between 1B and DH, and even if they get platoon partner for him, that is an upgrade at 1B for the Angels and a big upgrade at 2B. I rely on you guys to tell me what would be a fair return.

    1. I would hope LHP Tyler Skaggs would be a return on that deal, along with either prospets or more int’l money……if the Phillies have to add one of their young RHPs, then i would do that.

    1. It’s pretty obvious the Phillies “slow and steady” approach to their rebuild has been successful. The big club is now/will soon be stocked with really good, young, inexpensive, homegrown talent. At the same time, MacKlentak will be able to use one of the strongest farm systems to add (through trades) to the MLB team and to continue to controll the payroll by replacing older players with prospects. Of course the low payroll will allow the team to go nuts next off-season in the FA market.

    2. Huh, this is all ceiling oriented. If you’re looking at players’ ceilings alone, this makes some sense (although I’d have Ortiz a lot higher).

      But as a prospect ranking, I think it omits guys who have higher floors, like Haseley. The Gamboa ranking is eye opening and the Moniak ranking, while pretty accurate, is depressing. I really think they missed on Senzel, but time will tell.

        1. Agreed – that is looking like a HUGE miss so far and another example of why you don’t draft first round picks for need (not that they necessarily did that, but it’s possible).

  23. catch, it appears that Middleton expressed his frustration to MacPhail about the plans to not spend a lot this off season. At least that is what MacPhail said in his press conference. He had to assure Middleton that they would “keep an open mind to any opportunity,” So, I am still maintaining faith in Middleton, and I think that there will be opportunities to take on $ for a prospect or to be creative in acquiring players. My question remains the creativity of Klentak, and the flexibility of MacPhail. It is going to require longer contracts to SPs than he is comfortable with, and he is going to need to go outside his comfort zone if this rebuild is to work. I do not think that Middleton has infinite patience, however.

    1. Yeah, I think it’s no secret he wants to spend money – my question is whether he thinks the group is making good decisions on the whole. And when I say “decisions” I don’t mean overall approach – I think everyone is on board with the approach. I mean the micro decisions – like do we sign this guy or that guy or who do we keep and who do we trade. The value judgment decisions that turn out to be huge.

      I believe he really likes and trusts MacPhail and Klentak, so those guys are going to be given a reasonable opportunity to succeed, which is all they could ask. I agree that he does not have infinite patience, but just as a manager has less rope than the GM, I think the GM while he has a lot of rope, has a lot less than the President (MacPhail). I like that MacPhail preached patience – it takes a lot of experience and guts not to take someone else’s money and spend it right away. That shows good character, good intentions and, in the case of waiting to do big FA signings, most likely good judgment too.

    2. My cynical interpretation is that this is all for fan consumption. When their 2018 payroll remains miniscule and they aren’t active in the FA market this year the cover is that ownership really wants to spend but were convinced to wait..

      I somewhat agree that they shouldn’t be big buyers this off-season but think they need to start addressing some of their holes in 2018 (starting pitching and bullpen especially) to make Philly an attractive spot in 2019 for the big FA class…

  24. Angels going after Kinsler. No way Angels have to give up as much for him as they would for CeHe

    1. Maybe. However, take a look at the Angels top 30 and their MLB rotation. Who do they have to trade for Cesar anyway? Skaggs is about as good as it gets for young, controllable pitchers. SPs in their top 30 are all rated as middle of the rotation types. Best available there are 17 to 19 y.o. outfielders.

    1. Romus, I believe Ohtani owes it to himself to tour through MLB, allow each team so inclined (and what FO/ownership worth its salt wouldn’t be?) to make their pitch. Ours of course should include “The Hinkie Production”. Otherwise he’ll be more inclined to be swayed by the “bright lights, big city” shows of the megaplexes of LA, NY, and CHI, or maybe Texas if they jump high with hands up and yelling loud enough, “Look at us! Look at us!” If our brain trust and creative people here can wine and dine him, show him we’re a big town mixed with a small town vibe, and most of all, that the baseball needle is moving northward, and that we’re no longer to be marginalized to the shadows of the bigger spenders. Let’s hope Ohtani and his camp are savvy enough to know the ropes and can sift through the hyped up destinations to find where he can thrive both on the field and off.


  25. This is why I have reservations about MacPhail and Matty K and their resourcefulness.
    Many teams are jockeying for Ohtani and what it can take to get him, especially some of the other big market clubs who are not under any penalty, but the Phillies seem to look the other way:
    Texas Rangers: $3,535,000
    N.Y. Yankees: $3,250,000
    Minnesota Twins: $3,245,000
    Pittsburgh Pirates: $2,266,750
    Miami Marlins: $1,740,000
    Seattle Mariners: $1,057,500
    Philadelphia Phillies: $900,000
    Milwaukee Brewers: $765,000
    Arizona Diamondbacks: $731,250
    Baltimore Orioles: $660,000
    Boston Red Sox: $462,000
    Tampa Bay Rays: $440,500
    All other teams under $300K

    1. If Ohtani would forgo roughly $200M by not waiting two more years, could somebody please explain to me WHY the numbers listed above would have any relevance to him?

      1. Good question…….and only he would know that.
        What would be of concern…is wherever he lands, and he is comfortable, then in two years or maybe less….he signs an extension.
        I still think all the wining and dining will not be the truning point for him, but he will be comfortable with familiar face or two as a teammate….Darvish for one or maybe Tanaka.
        Perhaps if the Phillies may a push for Darvish and signed him, that may go a long way in Ohtani coming to Philly.
        But is that in the Phillies long term plan?

  26. Matt Gelb has TWO good pieces today on and tomorrow’s paper.

    The first one he posted this morning is an outstanding profile on Kapler from the young kids he managed in Greenville in ’07.

    The second late this afternoon – Klentak said the ’18 squad will be contructed with the new MLB trend “positional flexibility.” Which means we’ll see Rhys in LF at least a handful of games, perhaps JPC playing 3B-SS-2B. Alfaro and Knapp playing a little 1B. Florimon all over the field. Is Ben Zobrist available?

    Let’s get excited!!

    1. I’d like to see Kingery get time at SS in AAA. Seems like Cesar is stuck as 2B. Galvis can play anywhere but cannot so who cares. Crawford showed he is fine in the infield.
      Nearly all the OF have been in CF.
      Neither Alfaro or Knapp hit enough to deserve many 1B at bats.
      Franco could have value if converted to C, as would Joseph, which is unfotunate. Joseph would be looking at some extension money if he was an average C.

      I want no part of Florimon on the 25man. I’d rather have Quinn as emergency INF instead. Not sure who emergency C would be…

  27. A few more days and the 40 has to be finalized.
    Some interesting names may be left off the protected list this time, especially when it comes to the OF players who are eligible..

    1. Was really hoping Phillies would clear some 40man spots through trades before roster decisions were needed.

    1. And he doesn’t draw enough walks. He’s a great fielder and has a solid hit tool – but that’s where it ends and it’s hard to project too much growth as a hitter with his cross-country runner’s body (it really is that type of body – not an exaggeration), so I also doubt he gets selected.

      1. I saw Tocci at the Complex last week, in town for the strength and conditioning program, no doubt . He seemed taller than I remember, and therefore looked even thinner.

  28. IF the Phillies were to trade one of their young OFs to acquire a SP, here are 6 FAs (listed by Ryan Lawrence, Philly Voice) who might be a fit depending on the length of the contract:

    Carlos Gonzalez (I’d see about a 1-yr deal to restore his value at CBP)
    Carlos Santana (can flat rake, didn’t realize he was a 1b GG finalist but mostly an AL player)
    JD Martinez (would of course command a minimum 5 yr deal, but…)
    Jonathan Lucroy (doubt he’s on the FO radar, but he’d offer some stability to young catching corps)
    Jon Jay (utility OF with proven record offensively, however not an impact player)
    Melky Cabrera (meh….)

    I’d at least consider the top 3.

    1. I would be very interested in Santana, even on a two-year deal – assuming Hoskins can play left, which I do assume. JD I think is off the table because there’s no reason to be giving a first baseman a 5 year contract on this team. Cargo was really bad last year – if he wants to take a one year contract and a huge pay cut, he might be interesting on a one year deal at, say, $8-10 million – other than that I’d pass. Lucroy’s a good player, but blocks players on this team, Jay is just another guy and Cabrera does nothing for me.

    2. 8mark……I most of the above……Klentak has already gone on record….no more one year deals for trade chip value….could be 2 or maybe 10 or somewhere in between.
      JD Martinez or Carlos Santana would be the ones to probably fall into that category.

      1. hmmmm . . . I’ll believe that when I see it. I do think they will keep their minds and eyes open for guys who could either stay with the team and or be flipped. But they probably won’t be acquiring guys for the sole purpose of flipping them – which was always the game plan with Howie Kendrick I believe.

      1. I’m with you there, DMAR. I originally was interested in Moustakas but a) his OBP is non-existent and b) we’re going for Manny in another year anyway.

  29. Martinez is the best power hitter available and will command several hundred million – and he is a major liability in the field. He is a dh, first and foremost. Santana is a wonderful player who will be widely sought by Indians, and others needing a quality on base guy with some power – there are a multitude of teams that could use him – he is Martinez “light.” Cargo and Lucroy have seen their best baseball and are merely expensive; and Lucroy, who used to be the best pitch framer, is now among the worst, and he lost his hit tool on the way. John Jay is a very good little player who is a serviceable 4th/5th outfielder on a first division team. I don’t see the Phils being attracted to any of these players – not to say they couldn’t use a Chase Utley veteran presence but I don’t imagine any of these guys would be that answer.

    1. I agree with you, except perhaps what Martinez might command and the length of his contract, due to his age and his limitations in the field which are well known, but he will still get a lot of money, as will Santana.

    2. IMO Klentak and compant are not interested in position FA players….he has said on a few occasions, time to see what the kids can do first before going in that direction.
      Pitchers would appear to be their primary concern.

        1. Having seen enough teams jell or not jell over the years, I agree with you. I think it’s important in pretty much every sport and, my gosh, look how that leadership has helped the Eagles this year. In baseball, Hamels’ development was clearly aided by having Jamie Moyer as a mentor.

          1. This is why I think they need to hold onto either Blanco or Galvis or both. It would also be nice to see a seasoned hand in the starting rotation and in the line-up, even if it’s another part time player.

            This leadership is going to be really important this year because of the change in atmosphere from a warm and fuzzy clubhouse to a more competitive clubhouse. When the manager shows some tough love you want a veteran to lean over to that player and say “hey, you know, he’s right, you’ve got to do . . . . .”

            Casey Stengel once said that on every team there are three guys who love you, three guys who hate you and three guys who haven’t made their minds up about you and the key to managing was keeping the guys who hate you away from the guys who haven’t made their minds up yet. A lot of wisdom flowed from the Ole Perfesser.

            1. Aside from being inexpensive, Blanco had the added bonus of being their “emergency” catcher last season. I’ve heard rumblings that the Phillies are considering carrying 3 catchers next season (Alfaro, Knapp or Rupp, and a veteran free agent like A.J. Ellis). I understand why a veteran like Ellis seems an attractive option, but I have argued vehemently against it down here. I would rather re-sign the weak hitting Blanco and benefit from his flexibility that have a veteran taking ABs from Alfaro and Knapp, my opening day catchers.

          2. I don’t know how much I agree with that in baseball, Catch, since it’s such a one-on-one sport. I do think it’s way more true in the other team sports, where the offense and defense have to work in unison. I don’t mind veterans on the team as long as, like 8mark said, they can play.

            I think Hamels was a great pitcher because he was supremely talented and hard-working. Hamels had the worst year of his career when Moyer was on the team. Did Moyer fail him as a mentor then? Kyle Kendrick famously was Halladay’s shadow while Roy was here, but Kendrick was a #5 starter before Halladay arrived and he was a #5 when he left. Cody Asche, Dom Brown, Mayberry, and Ruf never developed while playing with franchise legends. Even Cesar didn’t develop until after Chase left.

            Every team who wins a world series has at least one or two vets because it’s almost impossible to field a team with 25 guys in their mid-twenties. I just think this is largely a overblown angle.

            1. Not sure you’re getting what leadership is about. Team leaders aren’t going to make bad players into good players, instead they help create and sustain an environment where players succeed.

              Maybe it helping to smooth over ruffled feathers or being able to kick a guy in the ass when needed. Leadership in the clubhouse helps enforce team standards and creates the atmosphere. Over a 9 month season, every team is going to have bad periods. It’s the leadership in the clubhouse that determines how a team recovers.

              How many times have you seen teams that look great on paper but fail on the field? Is that because the talent all stunk at the same time or because clubhouse dynamics was the issue. Remember the issue a few years ago with a couple of Red Sox players eating chicken in the clubhouse during games. That was a playoff team that collapsed due to bad leadership.


              Great leaders aren’t going to help bad teams win but bad leadership can certainly derail good teams.

            2. Yeah – I’m not trying to oversell leadership – a good leader won’t make a bad player a good player, but I do think it has a lot to do with younger players staying on track and developing as they should. I used to think it was kind of irrelevant – but I don’t believe that anymore.

    1. Somewhere in the 8-12 range most likely. Less track record than Ortiz but higher ceiling. Lots of risk with any 17 year old.

      1. Andy, I greatly respect your knowledge of international prospects, but Maitan would have to rank higher than that. He was in the midseason top 100 lists for both Baseball America and Fangraphs before he even played a professional game. Given the scouting reports, I think he’d fall just outside our top three.

        1. Mike Honcho – Maitan was only ranked 8/9 on the Braves prospects. He apparently gained alot of weight so that he will most likely have to play 3b. Further, he was seemingly overmatched at the level where he played and exhibited alot of swing and miss and his hit tool was likely to come in to the 50 area as opposed to 70 ? It appeared to those who saw him that he would not be capable of playing the 6 slot because of his body type which also hampered his running ability. The reviewer was not impressed by what he saw but remained impressed due to Maitan being highly regarded before actually playing in the pros. I would agree with Romus I believe – I don’t think he would crack our top 10.

          1. RU…Maitan came in at number 5 in the Braves top ten by MLB.The four ahead of him….all BA top 100 and MLB top 100.
            But you are correct he did gain weight and probably is a 3rd base candidate going forward….but not in the braves org if they lose him under the penalty….plus they have Austin Riley really coming on. .

            1. Romus, I was referring to Baseball Prospectus rankings as far as Maitan. I forgot to look at BA’s as I have somehow become immune to their data from time to time. If that is the case – BP was bearish on his stock….not saying that is fact, just my read on their interpretation of the data they presented.

  30. In transaction news, Williamsport released OF Juan Luis yesterday, and for those of you who missed these bits of news, Pedro Florimon was re-signed to a minor league contract, and Free Agent C Chace Numata was signed on the 13th by the Yankees.

  31. I’ll say it again, IMO altherr is as good as yelich. Hasn’t quite proven it yet but he will soon. It would be awful nice to have them both in the outfield, I’m torn between Herrera and Nick-leaning toward Nick but understand it’s a money thing when it comes to these deals. Quinn is the wildcard, if he could somehow…..I know, I know…..but somehow be healthy come spring training, how would an outfield with him in cf, flanked by altherr and yelich!!

    1. The concern I would have with Altherr….is the injury issue.
      If 2018 were his age24 season vs age27 then it would not bother me as much.
      But the last two seasons he has played in 177 games out of a max of 324.

  32. Latest GM meeting umors….Phillies and Os interest in Cards’ OF Randall Grichuk…..but why Phillies!
    Though…….Randall Grichuk…the guy drafted one slot (24th) before Mike Trout in ’09….and by the same Angels. Phillies could have both of them together in the same OF in a few years.

      1. 8mark….not sure what is there to make of that rumor.
        Unless it is an agent lore for churning a client.
        Perhaps Cardinals want one of the Phillies young arms.
        They do have a glut of OFers on their 40, and in their system.
        They will lose Lynn but they have a guy like Reyes ready to come up…and they have Martinez,, Weaver and an aging Wainwright…..Wacha came back stronger but Leake may have disappointed for them. They do lack a good lefty in their rotation however.

    1. More likely the O’s are interested in Randal Grichuk, and the Cardinals are trying to drum up more interest in him to get a better return. IMO, it’s unlikely Klentak would would have a strong interest in Grichuk.

      1. Hinkie….the only thing that comes to mind…..Klentak is very familiar with Grichuk from his time in the Angel org, he was there thur 2013 or so……just as he was with Peter Bourjous. So there may be a connection that he wants to re-establish.

  33. Two under the radar moves today in MLB.
    * Mariners trade MiLB flame thrower Thyago Vieira to CWS for J2 money. Gotta’ believe Seattle is the front runner to land Ohtani.
    * Twins rescind the contract with 16 YO Dominican shortstop Jelfry Marte. Marte was one of the top two J2 prospects this summer and was given 3 million dollars by Minnesota. The Twins say Marte failed his physical because of vision problems. What kind of vision problem couldn’t be helped by contact lenses or laser eye surgery ? This, to me, smells like a case of buyers remorse, and probably a strategic move to acquire more J2 dollars to make a run at Kevin Maitan and Abraham Gutierez when MLB releases them from the Braves.

    1. Hinkie, you’re a brilliant man. BUT in Ohtani’s case, what does the int’l bonus pool money have to do with the price of sushi in Japan? If Seattle lands him, it’ll have much, much more to do with him liking the organization, its direction, the geographic area and amenities, than a couple million bucks on top of what he’s already made as a pro over there. Again, if he’s willing to forego roughly $200M by not waiting another 2 years, the bonus pool money means what?

      1. Ohtani isn’t coming to Philadelphia because there is no financial, cultural, or any other reason for him to make that choice. He will either land with one of the teams on the west coast or with the Yankees due to their name recognition.

  34. Altherr is not as good as Yelich. And Altherr is a year older.

    Yelich is a 4-win per year player (he has averaged 4.1 WAR per year over the past four years). Altherr hasn’t had a 4-win career yet (he’s at 3.2)

    Yelich is a career .290 hitter, and has never hit below .282. Altherr is a career .243 hitter, and has never hit above .272.

    Etc., etc.

    1. That’s your opinion but it is mine that altherr has more power than yelich, throws better and is good defensively. The caveat being the health issue. Altherr needs to prove he can play a full season, which if he does could garner 30 hr. Believe me I understand why yelich is attractive but it’s harder to find rhh power these days and my preference is altherr

      1. Wow. Altherr is not even in the same league as Yelich. It’s not even close. It’s not opinion. It’s fact.

  35. The Competitive Balance Draft Picks for 2018 have been announced:

    Round A

    31. Pirates
    32. Rays (Compensation for Rasmussen)
    33. Orioles
    34. Padres
    35. D-backs
    36. Royals
    37. Indians
    38. Rockies
    39. Cardinals

    Round B

    70. Marlins
    71. Athletics
    72. Rays
    73. Reds
    74. Brewers
    75. Twins

    These picks can be traded. Klentak should have his eye on the Orioles pick at #33 (in a ToJo for Trumbo salary dump or even for some extra Phillies pitching [Jake Thompson ?]) and the Marlins pick at #70 (eat Edinson Volquez’s contract).

  36. I don’t really want Trumbo, Hinkie, but I love the idea of eating a contract to get the Marlins pick. That is exactly one of the things that Klentak should be doing.

  37. Don’t the Diamondbacks need to lose salary so they can make an offer to JD Martinez? They have a contract or 2 to unload and pick #35 would be nice compensation.

  38. The Phillies currently rank tied at #23 by Vegas at 80-1 to win the ’18 World Series (with Atlanta and Chisox). Place your modest bets now, boys! Surely I jest but the needle is moving north. We get a couple arms and we’re sniffing contention. And what will those odds be for ’19 when MM arrives and the kids have another season under their belts? I betcha it’ll be closer to 20-1.

    1. I saw that 8mark. Would be tempted to throw a few hundred at that odds if there was any semblance of a major league rotation for 2018, Nola notwithstanding of course. And I really don’t see Klentak signing or trading for the quality of pitcher who can slot ahead of Nola.

      Meanwhile, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for something lesser to materialize on the trade market – would love to get either of DSalazar or Odorizzi, both of whom could be had in a trade

      1. Haven’t looked for them, Romus. We get 2 SPs – 1= to + 1 better than Nola, we’re looking at minimum 81 Ws.

        1. 8mark….yes that would do it for sure.
          Yu never know. 🙂
          Also may be a bit too early for Vegas to come out with.

    2. Man, I enjoy the thought of Machado like the next guy but are we sure about his leadership? He strikes me as less than that often, a big FA sign like that I just hope he is a quality clubhouse guy too. I haven’t heard either way

      1. The only leadership I want from Manny is leading the league in WAR. Not every player has to be a team leader, and the leaders don’t need to be the stars (see Galvis). We were spoiled by the likes of Utley and Doc, but we can get back to greatness in other ways.

        1. Saw where Jim Salisbury said that if the Os make Machado available next month at the winter meetings, the Phillies may be in play.
          Pretty up to the owner at that point if he is willing to put Manny out there.
          Andy MacPhail and Dan Lozano teamed up in 2010 on Manny’s first coming out contract so there is that familiarity going for the Phillies.

          1. Romus … it ain’t gonna’ happen … but you knew I was going to tell you this.
            Just be excited when the Phillies sign Machado next winter.

        2. Not every player buy every team needs one and it is usually the star player. At least on championship teams. I’m sorry but it’s important imo. WAR WAR WAR……

          1. I disagree that it’s usually the star player. If anything, it’s usually the catcher or shortstop. And, recently notwithstanding, those positions have stars few and far between. Hell, I’m fairly certain we discounted how much of a leader Ruiz was for us and, while a very solid catcher, he was never a star.

            Anecdotally, when I was growing up I was always on the All-star baseball teams. One year when we were especially good I was the youngest player on the team and rarely got to play. My teammates introduced me as the captain; in a letter for my Eagle Scout bid my coach of the time echoed the sentiment. I didn’t even get on the field in close games, but they considered me a leader.

            Can stars be leaders? Absolutely. Do we need our stars to be leaders? Not really. Give me the production. All-stars are difficult to get. Good clubhouse guys and leaders are much easier to get. And they don’t need to take a starting spot to do their job. Sign Manny for the production and go get a bench bat for the motivational speeches.

      2. The ability to lead is a fair question. I think that usually comes with experience and maturity. MM is just 25 YO. I can see MacKlentak also going after a guy like Marwin Gonzalez as a super utility player next winter. Gonzalez is older, yet still in his prime (29 YO next off-season), and would come with a ring. Gonzalez could be to the Phillies what Ben Zobrist was/is for the Cubs.

        Writing this post reinforces, for me, just how unbelievably loaded next year’s FA class is going to be. This is why (despite what Klentak said and is also being speculated in some places) I can’t see the Phillies signing any FA’s to long term, big money contracts at this time. This year’s market is weak. The Phillies have game planned for 2019 for a few years now. It would be ridiculous to to surrender your payroll flexibility 12 months before the greatest FA class of all-time hits the open market.
        Besides Machado and Gonzalez, Klentak should have major interest in Garrett Richards (if he proves he is healthy), Josh Donaldson (if they some how miss out on MM), Patrick Corbin, Gio Gonzalez, Jay Haap, Zach Britton (if he proves he is healthy), Jake Diekman (if he proves he is healthy), and the list goes on and on.

  39. From a couple of Keith Law Insider articles:

    1. Off-Season Trade Overview: Big Names That Could Be Dealt …
    “Freddy Galvis, SS, and Cesar Hernandez, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
    Both Phillies middle infielders are about to be pushed out by prospects, though the two veterans bring totally different values to the market.
    Galvis is a free agent after 2018, likely to earn $6-7 million via arbitration this year and an elite defender at short with a little pop but awful on-base skills (.287 career OBP; .309 in 2017 was his career high, and he hit in front of the pitcher a lot).
    Hernandez is a plus defender at second who has a .372 OBP the past two seasons, good for 24th in baseball in that period. He’s arb-eligible for the second time this winter and has three years of team control remaining before free agency. The Phillies’ top prospect, J.P. Crawford, is an excellent defensive shortstop, and both he and second base prospect Scott Kingery, a 70 defender at second, are ready to play in the majors now, so the Phillies have a surplus to trade.
    Several contenders could use help at second base; the Rangers, Blue Jays, Angels and Rays all got less than nothing from the position this year because of injuries or poor performances, and Hernandez would be a huge upgrade for any of them.
    Galvis is a tougher sell as a regular, and few contenders (or would-be contenders) would see him as a substantial upgrade, but I think he’d be an ideal utility infielder, given his defensive prowess, especially for a team on which the everyday shortstop is more bat than glove, such as the Mariners, Rockies, Jays or even Red Sox.”

    2. Keith Law’s FA Bargains …
    Mike Minor
    Lucas Duda
    Juan Nicasio
    Welington Castillo
    Jeremy Helickson – “Hellickson lost his changeup in 2017, turning him from a league-average-or-so starter into a replacement-level one, which really killed the Phillies at the trade deadline.
    But Hellickson’s changeup was one of the best in baseball before then; from 2011 to 2016, it ranked as the 10th-most-valuable changeup in MLB by FanGraphs’ pitch values, his only above-average pitch over that span. With it, he’s at least a good fourth starter, and without it, he’s probably going to post another 5.00-plus ERA. I’d be willing to bet on him rediscovering the pitch, given the upside.”
    Tyler Chatwood – “Mike Petriello, one of MLB’s Statcast experts, wrote about Chatwood in a piece on their site last week, calling him a potential Charlie Morton signing this winter, in reference to Houston’s deal with Morton that turned out to be one of the best free-agent signings of last offseason.
    I’m with Mike, even though we came at the player from different angles: I remember Chatwood as a prospect with a hammer curveball, a pitch he barely used in 2017 because he was coming back from a two-year layoff and because pitches don’t move or break the same way in Coors Field. I don’t know if Chatwood has Morton’s upside, as he’s really a two-pitch guy with platoon issues against lefties, but I do agree with Petriello’s assessment that there is untapped or hidden value with Chatwood that could be unlocked with a move to another market and increased use of his curveball.”

    1. KLaw hit is pretty much on the head with Freddy and Cesar….however not sure what he meant ‘hitting in front of the pitcher a lot’, unless Mack had the pitcher hitting in the three hole this past season. Freddy seem to hit in the two-hole most of the season.

      1. Maybe he meant for his career, as a whole. I’m not sure.
        And … hopefully the market for Cesar is a little bigger than just the Angels, like Law suggests. In that same article, Law mentions Dee Gordon as the best fit for the Angels, but says he’s not sure the Angels can afford Gordon (in prospects). Personally, I don’t see it that way. IMO, CeHe is the best fit for the Angels. The most important question should be which player would get on base more as a lead off hitter in front of Mike Trout ?
        Cesar Hernandez OBP: .371 in 2016, .373 in 2017
        Dee Gordon OBP: .305 in 2016, .341 in 2017
        Ian Kinsler OBP: .348 in 2016, .314 in 2017
        I know Dee Gordon steals more bases, but are the Angels really going to want anybody trying to steal with Mike Trout at the plate ? Kinsler hits more HR’s, but will turn 36 next season and has just one more year of team control.

        1. Galvis had 140 at-bats in the 8-hole with a .301 OBP. In his 383 at-bats in the 2nd spot, his OBP was .327 so he was actually better at getting on base batting 2nd..

          Conversely, his slugging % was 35 points higher batting 8th..

          1. 3up…….did not know Freddy had a 327 OBP from the 2-hole….though I think that is league average or a notch below for overall OBP for all hitters…..but compared to the other 2-hole hitters that may be lower.
            Do you have the stats for MLB 2-hole hitters’ OBPs?

            1. I don’t have total overall stats for #2 hitters but his .327 ranked him 26th among players with more than 200 at-bats at that spot in the order. He’s not a 2-hole hitter on a good team…

  40. I think he meant that added a couple of BBs to Freddy’s OBP, which made it even a little worse in reality. I see that Cesar, clearly, has the higher value, and I see Freddy spending one more year here as the Super Sub before he leaves to be a FA, and Florimon is emergency depth. My only disagreement with completely waiting for 2019 Hinkie, is that Pomeranz and Happ could be the 2 best SPs out there. There are serious health issues with others, and no way Kershaw does not re-sign in LA. So I still sign Darvish. Signing him will not impact our ability to sign anyone and multiple anyones that we can before the 2019 season, and Darvish helps make the Phils a much better destination before that big FA class hits. And, I would still add a Happ if none of our other SPs step up after Darvish and Nola

  41. John Hart has left the Braves organization so that mean some of Atlanta’s International signings will be voided?

    1. If it was the NCAA, the Braves would be accused of having a “lack of institutional control”.

      I’m guessing that Hart’s departure is to allow the Braves to clean the slate in the attempt to convince the commissioner that they have addressed the problems and reduce the punishment.

    2. I think that is a separate issue. Hart was deposed by Anthopoulis. MLB still is deciding the nature of the penalty for Braves’ unethical behavior – could be loss of players previously signed or they won’t be allowed to participate in future international drafts.

    3. Yes. As I mentioned yesterday, the Twins have made what looks like a strategic move to be strong players for Kevin Maitan and Abraham Gutierez. They have rescinded their contract with 16 YO Dominican SS Jelfrey Marte. Minnesota agreed to a 3 million dollar deal with Marte this summer, but now claim he failed his physical because of vision problems (what about contact lenses or laser eye surgery?). The Twins can now use that 3 million towards wooing Maintan and Gutierez once they are cut lose from the Braves by MLB.
      BTW … the Braves are probably going to be punished with rule 4 draft picks in some way, too. They were cheating that system by giving draft picks gifts (cars and other big ticket items) in lieu of smaller signing bonuses. They then used the savings in slot dollars to overpay other picks. This helped Atlanta come to a prearrangement with first round pick Kyle Wright for 1.3 million dollars more than slot and allowed him to fall to the Braves at 1-5.

  42. Hinkie, don’t forget also – MLB allowed the other teams to pay the Bosox LA players monies in addition to what Bosox had already paid them. I am not altogether certain whether MLB made those former Bosox players free agents or they were still only allowed to get monies freed up from foreign free agent money. It strikes me that MLB almost has an obligation to make them free agents so they are available to all teams not just the few who have a small amount of money left. If I was on the player’s committee, I would lobby for that (making the other 29 teams available) instead of just maybe 5 or 6 who have foreign bonus money left. Otherwise it smacks of restraint of trade…. ??????

    1. RU … Simon Muzziotti and the other prospects set free from the Red Sox were signed by their second (new) team with J2 money. That’s what will happen if/when MLB strips the Braves of Maitan, Gutierez, and possibly other international teens. These kids don’t lose any money through this process. Whatever they sign for the second time around is just gravy (extra dollars added on to their original signing bonus).

    1. If nothing else, I like the fact that he’s coached in the Angels minor league system for the past eight years. He (along with Klentak) should have solid knowledge of LA’s pitchers in the event of a Cesar Hernandez trade to the Halos. What does he think of Matt Skaggs, Andrew Heaney, Nick Tropeano, Keynan Middelton, Chris Rodriguez, Griffin Canning, Cole Duensing, Jose Soriano, Wilkel Hernandez (all possible trade targets), and Garrett Richards (possible FA target next year).

      Still interested in who the pitching coach wiill be: Rick Kranitz, Jim Benedict, John Farrell, Brian Sweeney (who I think I prefer).

      1. I don’t get them hiring a bullpen coach before naming the pitching coach when Kranitz is untitled as yet. Odd. I like Sweeney as well. Benedict may be a good senior offset to Kapler, however.

    1. So that means Kranitz is now the official PC, by the process of elimination?
      Kranitz was the bullpen coach last season.

  43. When do we see Kapler’s influence in Coaching hires? Gott is another Klentak guy, their is no official PC, which is very odd, and shouldn’t Kapler have a list of guys he would want on his Staff as he has prepared to get a Manager’s job?

    1. Should he have a list?
      Kapler does not strike me as a guy who has lists….for that type of thing.
      He did say he wants a staff of diversity and no ‘yes’ people.
      So maybe he told Matty K….get me what I should have and I will adapt and mold them into the Phillies way….oh, that was Ruben’s mantra, wasn’t it?

  44. I think a guy looking to become a Manager who has a long career around Baseball, has thought about what he wants his Staff to look at. I remember hearing that from a lot of guys who get Manager Head Coaching jobs. That “so and so has always been in the back of my mind if I was ever putting a Staff together”. I would like to know who is on Kapler’s list. I would like to see his influence somewhere. I would like to see a Top notch Pitching Coach and a Bench Coach with Baseball smarts, and I don’t all guys with ties to the organization or Klentak.

  45. Giants have put a proposal to the Marlins re: Stanton. Allegedly that has SF taking on a lot of the contract, and a need for them to move some. Does the Shark interest folks here? I would take a shot at him, what does everyone else think?

    1. I like Jeff Samardzija a lot, but he would not be a salary dump. The Giants are going to want some highly regarded prospects in return. I love the fact that he has logged 1,054 innings over the past five seasons. I also hate the fact that he has logged 1,054 innings over the past five seasons. You know what I mean ? He’s got a very reasonable contract (3 yrs @ 60 million), but with all those miles on his arm, how’s he going to look in 2019 and 2020 when the Phillies will be competing ?

    1. Romus … one thing is for certain, the Phillies are going to get a great player at 1-3 (whether HS or college). This draft is overflowing with talent. The Royals and Rays are going to have many picks in the first two rounds, and their farm systems are going to look a lot better in June than they will in May.
      I don’t have a subscription to BA, so I can only see the Top 25 HS players. If I were the Phillies, and wanted a HS player, I’d choose either Nander De Sedas, Nolan Gorman, Ethan Hankins, Mathew Liberatore, or Austin Becker with the third pick. I’d also do whatever I could (eat bad money/trade excess arms) to acquire comp picks. And I certainly would not sign Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, or any other FA with a QO.

      1. Yes hinkie. remember Jeff Jackson. great pick , mitch Gueller., Shane Watson.,jess biddle.,Zach Collier.

        1. rocco…that is why HSers are so risky drafting high in the draft……but when you occasionally hit on one it can be really worthwhile….Scott Rolen/JRoll

      2. Not so fast. They SHOULD get a great player but MM is proof that this is hardly a can’t miss deal.

  46. I did not see that Romus, but I am not surprised he has some control over where he goes. Maybe the Phils are on the list. I understand it would not be a salary dump, but I see a discount in terms of prospects for the Phils taking on his whole salary. Just a thought on how we can use our financial resources outside of the FA market. Signing Darvish is still my Plan A, no prospects, no loss of draft pick, solely $, he fits for 2019 and 2020. He helps them improve in 2018 making the Phils more of a destination spot for the post 2018 FAs.

    1. Darvish would make the most sense of all the pitching FAs…..MLB panel of Jayson Stark./Brian Kenny/Pena and Dan O’ Dowd had him signing for 5 years/$110/115M wherever he ends up.

      1. Agree Romus. By the time the team gets into a position to worry about payroll, that kind of contract will be in it’s last year or two. Klentak needs to start adding major league assets – Darvish adds you 3+ wins even if only starting 20-25 games.

        I’m still hoping to Odorizzi and/or Danny Salazar given the unlikelihood that we would sign a notable FA pitcher

  47. November 20, the traditional date for setting the Winter 40 man roster is almost here It’s the day after tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing a few minor leaguers promoted to
    “The Phillies’ 40” and some “dead wood” on the current roster jettisoned.

    1. I don’t think it’ll be that active unless there are unexpected transactions. With 38 players currently on the 40man roster, I see Tirado being DFAd, and Kilome, Suarez and Taveras being added. Appel still sits there and I know some folks are “worried” that Tocci will be taken by some club needing a 6th outfielder. I’d like to see Appel one more go-around, this time in the pen. Maybe Gabe can get inside his head, or scare the crap out of him.

  48. Good article on MLB Trade rumors about the Yankees and the number of potential rule 5 choices they will have to protect. The article further directs you to a BA article enumerating the number and a nice description of the players available – they will need to protect something like 12 players – including the top 2 players in the system. So it would appear the Phils could end up with a good player there as well – they will just have to jettison – as Dennis mentions – above some players.

    1. RU…the issue…if Klentak decides to protect 40 the Phillies have to pass on the Rule 5 draft, where they would be drafting third.
      If he elects to only protect 38/39….he can participate….but may have to expose someone.
      I would protect 39 and hope an unprotected Roman Quinn passes thru the draft, as ToJo did two years ago…and then go for one of the Yankee prospects.
      Then sign Roman to a minor league contract with an invite to ST..

      1. Kilome, Dominguez, and Suarez are definites and Taveras is most likely an addition too. These four will require two more spots open up. Quinn? That’s ridiculous, and not happening. Perkins is likely but Appel could go and so could Rupp.

        1. Will see….if McKinney is exposed by the Yankees…then I would let Quinn go unprotected and draft McKinney….he is head and shoulders above Quinn and is a year younger.
          Quinn is at best a 4th or 5th if he ever stays healthy for more than 90 games in a season.

          1. If Quinn could stay healthy, a big IF, he could be a starter. I agree if Mckinney is there, he will get taken in the top 3 picks.

            1. Exactly…Yankees know that so they have to make a big decision tomorrow…..Phillies draft third.
              Not sure if the Reds or Giants will be drafting in the Rule 5.
              If they do not the Phillies I think move up some slots.
              Yankees already have the following OFers on their current 40:
              Jake Cave…Jacoby Ellsbury….Clint Frazier… Brett Gardner …Aaron Hicks ….Aaron Judge,
              So they could DFA Gardner or Ellsbury and try to protect Mckinney or Florial.

            2. Correction…Yankees OF Florial does not need protection this year. So that makes things a little easier for Cashman for the OF picture. Still they could lose some quality prospects.

            3. Brian Cashman is as good a GM as anyone in MLB. He’ll figure out a way to get every prospect he really wants to keep protected. He began last night by trading RH reliever Nick Rumbelow (was on NY’s 40 man) to Seattle for a couple of younger prospects. This is what I have been calling for Matt Klentak to do.
              Here’s a great four part series on Brian Cashman’s rule 5 dilemma.
              Part three lists about a half dozen Yankees prospects (most pitchers) who, realistically, won’t be able to be protected. The question is … would you replace Mark Apell (still has an option year) for a guy like 22 YO Jonathan Loaisiga. The 22 YO Loaisiga has never pitched above low A, and would have to remain in the Phillies’ bullpen all season long.

          2. Hmmmm, if we did that he would be put on the 25 man ahead of Quinn, Perkins, Tocci, Pullin? Ahead of most players in our organization? In 2017 AA-AAA
            McKinney- 277/485/821 29 doubles 7 triples 16 Hr 64 RBI
            Pullin——- 272/488/815 43 doubles 3 triples 20 Hr 69 RBI And the Phillies and fans don’t even mention his name. And he can Play second base. And had more stolen bases. I see this lineup in 2019 Crawford at third Jetpack at SS Pullin at second Hoskins at first That’s 160 HR just from the infield!! 315 RBI from infield !! And piles of money for TOR Arms Trust in our own farm. When these young guns have played together they have won. Fun to play team builder, but more fun to win. You cannot use saber, war, whatever to measure the value of fighting to win for your team mates.

            1. Kingery is not a SS and Pullin is not a 2B in the majors. They aren’t playing where they’re playing to make room for other people. They’re playing those positions because they don’t have the tools/abilities to play higher up on the defensive spectrum.

              Pullin is a legitimate prospect (not a blue chip, but a prospect) in the corner OF. But as of now, he looks more 4th OF than starter.

            2. They said Chase Utley couldn’t play second when he came out of college either. And Crawford looks pretty good at third. The GM is preaching flexibility at positions.

            3. Pro sports are littered with blue chips that looked like Tarzan but ended up playing like Jane. I prefer the players that put up the numbers.

        2. I forgot Tirado. I think it will be Perkins and Tirado to add the four guys and then Appel if they want to open a spot for a high rule 5 pick, which I think they’ll do. Tocci won’t be protected.

          1. We’re at 38 now, I think.


            Tirado and Appel are all but certain to be outrighted. Appel may have pitched his last game in the Phillies system.

            Next in line is Perkins, TJoseph, and ZCurtis, all of whom are good bets IMO to lose their roster spots in the coming days.

          2. I agree with you, Murray. Phillies will drop Tirado and Perkins, and add Kilome, Taveras, Suarez, and Dominguez. Klentak will not take part in the rule 5 draft. If they sign Jake McGee, they’ll DFA Zac Curtis.
            Carlos Tocci will not be selected. I would most be worried that Andrew Pullin might be taken.

  49. According to Jon Morosi, Phillies are interested in lefty reliever Jake McGee, former teammate of Kapler.

      1. Yeah I’m definitely in on McGee. He, Cishek (my 1st choice), Nicasio, Neshek, Swarzak, Minor all obtainable names.

      2. makes sense too. theyre going to make some additions. Theyre certainly not going to run a 35 million dollar payroll out their in 2018.
        Probably would start taking some heat from the league and players union in that case.
        I think I read the smallest payroll last yr for any team was 60

    1. Just looked up Keith Law’s thoughts on McGee for his Top 50 FA List for ESPN Insiders. Law has McGee ranked #17:

      “Rob Arthur speculated in a September piece for FiveThirtyEight that the lower seams on the baseball since mid-2015 might have particularly hurt McGee, who had a miserable 2016 but returned to something more like his normal self in 2017.

      He also returned to his previous style of pitching, throwing almost exclusively fastballs, almost completely junking his curveball and throwing his slider less often, which makes sense given that he pitched for Colorado, where pitches don’t break as much as they might at sea level. His fastball is still plus and misses bats, and he’s slightly better in his career against right-handed batters, so he’s a full-inning guy rather than a lefty specialist. I think McGee is the best pure reliever on the market this winter, not likely to get closer money but more than worthy of it based on performance and stuff.”

      And … this on McGee, from Ryan Lawrence (

      “Adam Morgan was one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball in the final two months of the 2017 season. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea to put another lefthander with similar strikeout and strikeout-to-walk rate numbers in the same bullpen, would it? There’s a lot to like about McGee. He’s a lefty with an average fastball in the mid-90s, he’s shown he can pitch for more than an inning/three outs at a time, and he can pitch in pretty much any inning from the sixth through the ninth. Like Cishek, the 31-year-old McGee has a long enough track record of success that he’d probably be seeking a three-year deal. Notable: McGee had a 0.88 WHIP and didn’t allow a home run in 32 games away from Coors Field last season.”

  50. I have been a Billy McKinney fan for some time and would love to make room to add him. Also, I think the Phils get at least 1 of the RPs Steve mentions

  51. Machado reportedly wants to play SS as O’s intend to engage him in extension talks later in the off season. This will make his FA next year all the more intriguing. And next season’s “positional flexibility” all the more relevant for the Phillies.

  52. The Braves got crushed for their international shenanigans. Opportunities abound!

    Let’s see what happens now with Appel. Probably a trade in the works.

    1. Alex A…..should be thankful…maybe a hard a slap on both wrists penalty.
      Braves lose three ..maybe four, of their top thirty and a third round pick in the Rule 4…probably a 80th or so pick.
      The other LA kids were way down in their own system…and only in the top thirty of that year’s J2 class.
      Future restrictions thru 2021 on int’l signings could be the only stinger in the penalty assessed.
      But their farm still will rank in the top half of baseball after all this is said and done.

  53. If the Phillies trade Cesar and Herrera for at least one solid SP, what would you think of this ’18 lineup?

    Kingery 2b
    Crawford, ss
    Hoskins LF
    Santana 1b
    Altherr CF
    Williams RF
    Franco 3b
    Alfaro/Knapp c

    with a rotation of:
    Darvish, Nola, [SP acquired for Cesar/Herrera], Eickhoff, Pivetta or VV

    Clearly I am of the mind to set the tone to attract future FAs now than flounder thru next season hoping they’ll still want to come here. Plus, Yu never know (right, Romus?)…

    1. 8mark….. Amen.
      Middleton should put his foot down and insist they break the bank for Darvish……exactly how does that throw a wrench into the MacKlentak plan!
      Ithink they have convinced Middleton to wait…..the problem with next year’s FA class….like Machado for instance …he may not be there for them to sign.
      Oh what is the use with this duo!

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